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White Tower to reopen with an exhibition about Thessaloniki February 7, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Exhibitions Greece, Arts Museums.
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Every aspect of Thessaloniki’s history in multimedia format

07-02-08_white_tower.jpg  Thessaloniki’s landmark White Tower will once again become part of life in the northern port this year, after being closed for two years in preparation for an exhibition about the city through the ages. The exhibits on display will highlight the urban and cosmopolitan features that have characterized Thessaloniki since its foundation.

The illustrated 2008 diary from the Friends of the Museum of Byzantine Culture in Thessaloniki is a harbinger of an exhibition to open soon at the city’s White Tower. The monument has been closed for two years in preparation for an exhibition about Thessaloniki through the ages.

Exhibits will cover every aspect of life in the city, highlighting the urban and cosmopolitan features that have characterized Thessaloniki since its foundation.

Respect for the monument itself and easy access for all visitors are the basic premises of the curators’ approach to the new multimedia exhibition, which will encompass the city’s long history in seven rooms, each on a different floor.

“An historic monument like the White Tower is a museum in and of itself. For that reason, it can’t be loaded with archaeological finds,” Anastasia Tourta, director of the Museum of Byzantine Culture, said. “Besides, how can you squeeze 2,300 years of history into a 450-square-meter space?”

07-02-08_aghios_dimitrios.jpg  07-02-08_votive_offerings.jpg  The interior of Aghios Dimitrios Church (left). Right: Votive offerings for Asclepius (2nd-3rd century AD). The exhibition will encompass the city’s history in seven rooms of the White Tower.

On the ground floor of the tower, a digital map will show the city’s archaeological sites, historic monuments, museums and cultural foundations. The screen will also provide a flow of information about subjects ranging from the water supply system to commerce, the movement of people and ideas, and the coexistence of different cultures and religions.

“Cities like Thessaloniki, Rome and Istanbul have a lengthy, continuous trajectory throughout which they retained their urban character. You can’t ‘museify’ those cities. Their history is alive and scattered around different parts of the present urban fabric. So the exhibition won’t ‘museify’ the city but the images will be an information point,” explained Tourta.

So visitors, especially residents of Thessaloniki, who may have associated the Church of Aghia Sofia with the wedding of a friend but are unaware of the church’s age-old presence, will come to understand the history and worth of their city.


Baghdatis coach quits after a year February 7, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Tennis Squash.
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The coach of Cypriot tennis star Marcos Baghdatis quit yesterday after less than a year on the job.

Yiannos Hadjigeorgiou, who will continue to coach the 17th-ranked Baghdatis as Cyprus’s Davis Cup captain, told the 2006 Australian Open finalist that he was stepping down due to personal reasons.

“This decision, taken after much thought, is clearly owed to family reasons. The decision I have taken is the most appropriate,” Hadjigeorgiou said on the Cypriot tennis federation’s website. “I impressed upon [Baghdatis] that I would always be by his side, as in the past, for whatever he may need.”

Hadjigeorgiou started coaching Baghdatis in May 2007. No replacement has yet been named.

Vivartia Food Group eyes Everest fast-food chain February 7, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy, Food Greece.
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Greece’s largest food group, Vivartia, is in preliminary talks with Everest to buy a stake in the fast-food chain, Vivartia said yesterday.

Everest, with a current market value of 85.5 million euros, runs a network of 184 fast-food stores in Greece, Cyprus and Romania. Vivartia, which owns fast-food chain Goody’s, plans to invest 800 million euros ($1.17 billion) to expand activities in Southeastern Europe by 2012. Vivartia is 84.6 percent-owned by Marfin Investment Group.

Watchdog may need to study Microsoft’s Greek deal February 7, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Internet & Web.
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The Competition Commission will intervene and cancel the contract Greece has signed with Microsoft if it is found to be in breach of European Union legislation on competition, the commission’s president, Spyros Zisimopoulos, told a parliamentary committee yesterday.

He was asked by deputies who are Institution and Transparency Committee members whether the agreement ratified recently by Parliament had a monopolistic character. However, New Democracy Deputy Manolis Kefaloyiannis stated that the contract does not exclude rival software companies.

Zisimopoulos stressed that this is a hard case which the Commission may need to examine: “If the legislation concerns only the national competition law, then the national commission does not have the right to intervene,” he said.

AIA passenger total up 10% to 16.5 million February 7, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Transport Air Sea Land.
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Athens International Airport said yesterday the number of people using Greece’s largest airport rose 10 percent last year to a record 16.5 million as airlines added flights and more Eastern Europeans vacationed in the country.

The number of flights increased 8 percent to more than 200,000, the company said in a statement today. Fifteen new airlines began using the airport, including Air China Ltd, Continental Airlines Inc and Aer Lingus Group Plc.

The number of Eastern Europeans using the airport, which is operated by German builder Hochtief AG, rose 23 percent, as did the number of North Americans. Flights from low-cost carriers also contributed to an 18 percent increase in the tourist total to 2.3 million, the airport company said.

Athens is offering discounts to airlines to attract more customers as the Greek government prepares to sell a stake. Greece owns 55 percent of the airport, while Hochtief owns 26 percent and manages 14 percent. The pair said three years ago they’d rework the concession contract to prepare for a sale.

Ten destinations were added last year, taking the total to 116 in 50 countries. The number of international passengers to Western European locations, the airport’s biggest market, rose 7.7 percent as Aegean Airlines, the second-biggest Greek carrier, and discount airlines added routes.

Greece’s Aegean Airlines to launch summer service to London February 7, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in News Flights, Transport Air Sea Land.
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Aegean Airlines said yesterday it will launch flights to London this summer, expanding its destinations abroad with new Airbus A321 jets.

Flights to London’s Stansted, twice daily, will start on May 15, the carrier said. Aegean will also launch a service to Tirana, Albania’s capital, from May 2.

Its domestic network will expand with new flights to the islands of Lemnos and Cephalonia.

Aegean expects to take delivery of 10 Airbus A320/321 aircraft as part of its investment program, which targets a fleet renewal with 25 new aircraft by 2010. The Airbus jets will replace 15 Boeing 737 planes. Aegean’s passenger traffic last year grew 18 percent, to 5.23 million passengers.

Soccer fan clubs get the boot February 7, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Football.
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Autonomous clubs for soccer supporters are to be banned and replaced by less fanatic groupings, according to a draft law aimed at preventing sports-related violence that was presented by the government yesterday.

The bill aims to ensure that the new supporter associations will be strictly controlled by the sports teams they back. Clubs will also be made responsible for security in stadiums, along the lines of a model successfully introduced in the UK in the 1990s.

“The government’s main aim is to stamp out violence so that families can return to the stadiums,” said Yiannis Ioannidis, the Deputy Culture Minister in charge of sports. “It is not a panacea for the problem [of violence] but it is a tool. We owe it to our children.”

The draft law also proposes tougher penalties for people convicted of violent acts inside sports grounds. The change in the law follows an increase in soccer violence in recent years, most tragically the death of a Panathinaikos supporter during clashes last year.